Crackdown on ‘immoral’ rapid test price gouging which has seen shops selling them for $100 a piece to desperate families – as Scott Morrison refuses to budge on free tests
- The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission released a statement
- The chairman said they would launch an investigation into RAT test pricing
- Announcement comes after several days of public scrutiny on social media
- Chairman said businesses will need to provide evidence for pricing reasons
Shops and pharmacies have been warned to stop profiteering off desperate Australians by selling rapid antigen tests at inflated prices.
Extreme shortages have most outlets out of stock, and some unscrupulous shops are taking advantage by selling individual tests for as much as $100.
Tests usually cost $25 for two or $50 for a pack of five and are cheaper in other countries where Australians are ordering online for about $4 each.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said it would investigate whether the reasons retailers gave for inflated prices were legitimate.
People shared their frustration online over businesses selling RATs for profit and blaming shortages for increased pricing
Shops insist their prices are solely down to demand and supply shortages around the country as rapid tests are used for travel and leaving isolation.
ACCC Chair Rod Sims said the commission would investigate the evidence behind these claims and whether they justify the price of the tests.
‘We are seeking information from suppliers about their costs and the current pricing of rapid antigen tests,’ he said.
‘We are also asking them about their current stock levels, and the amounts on order, and about their expectations about when additional tests may become readily available to consumers.’
Mr Sims said the ACCC would not hold back in ‘naming and shaming’ businesses that are found guilty of misconduct
Mr Sims also reminded businesses they need to be able to prove the reasoning they give to customers for their pricing.
‘We are also contacting major retailers and pharmacies seeking similar information and reminding them that they need to be able to substantiate any claims they make to consumers about the reason for higher prices,’ he said.
Several big retailers including Chemist Warehouse and Harvey Norman have been selling the RAT tests for anywhere between $15-$45.
Mr Sims warned the ACCC would not hold back in shaming businesses that are found guilty of misconduct.
‘We won’t be shy to name and shame suppliers and retailers we consider to be doing the wrong thing,’ he said.